Coon refuses to turn over presidency
In a move to block newly-elected president Lou Dechert from taking office as the National President of
the KWVA, Harley Coon and the Executive Council (by a vote of 8 to 2) voted to refuse to allow Dechert to
take office as was scheduled for July 26, 2004. Dechert sent the following e-mail alert (7/26/04):
I trust that you are ready to defend the KWVA against assault by Coon, Inc. This morning's Executive
Council (EC) started with a blast by Mr. Edwards against anyone that did not vote for Coon, Inc. Mr.
Coon made a few blasts at ad hoc and "unnamed individuals." Followed by an attempt by Cook,
Nominations Chairman, to get Lee Dauster, who beat him in the election (already distributed) thrown out.
"He did not have his four year's dues paid--although he did have the three years paid, when his
application came in and before the people were placed in Graybeards. But with preplanned and adroit
questioning by Edwards, Cook volunteered that "Lois T. Dechert interfered with the election."
Ms. Wenzel then made motion (she called it a resolution) vaguely referring to "rumors" of inappropriate
actions by Louis T Dechert in the election, moving that a committee of Ms. Wenzel, Jones, Grogan, and
McKinniss be appointed to investigate the rumors and report at the annual meeting and that Louis T Dechert
not be seated as President until that time" - or words to this effect. Edwards sanctimoniously
abstained, Ferris and MacSwain voted no, everyone else voted yes.
Edwards then quickly made the motion that since we were without leadership, Harley Coon be appointed
acting president until the September meeting. A chorus of boos from the audience greeted that proposal but
the Council voted 8-2 (Ferris and MacSwain NO). A recess was called. I informed my associates
and Coon and several Directors that I didn't want it reported that "I stormed out of the meeting"; but,
being under investigation by the current EC it was improper for me to remain.
I immediate informed my PR/Graybeard/Webmaster designee Ted Barker of what transpired and ask that he
make it widely known, including the Associated Press. I told Ted that I would continue to use him as the
single source of information as I am on the road with limited commo means. I see that he got the word out.
When the EC reconvened from their recess Edwards led a move to cancel the meeting announced for the new
EC on 07..27, and suggested that none of the newly elected individual be sworn in since, essentially, they
were leaderless. This presently under consideration. I called the Attorney General of Ohio and NY
and invoked sanctions against the KWVA.
That wraps it up fairly well. Charley Price will handle all questions addressed to me by the lynch
committee appointed to investigate me. Ted Barker will continue to be the point of contact for news.
Veteran friends, you are requested to take action to protect your organization against yet another illegal
takeover by Coon, inc. Thanks for your help--
Sign me, Lou and the Hill 2004!
Officers and directors, from the Alamo!!
Call to Arms
Ted Barker, Dechert's communication contact, has sent out the following request for assistance from
members of the KWVA:
"If you want to get on top of this, call each of your fellow Ad-Hoc and KWVA chapter members to alert
them of this illegal procedure. Harley has been voted to continue as Acting President while a committee he
appointed to investigate Lou and his slate. They voted to remove Lee Dauster. Much more to come.
Call the Attorney General of New York and especially the Dayton TV stations and media. Call Mr. Diehl at
the Ohio Attorney General at:
Gary Diehl, Investigator
Charitable Law Section
150 E. Gay St. 23rd Fl.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
This is an official email from the Hill 2004 Interim Media Representative.
Any media calls to: Ted Barker (214) 320-0342
Alerting of Authorities
Following are messages from Ted and Hal Barker, who are working closely with Lou Dechert at this point in
Lisa Davidson, AG Charities is out of office. Diehl, Investigator for Ms. Davidson is also out. So,
Flanking Attack: Call for the Secretary to Jim Petro, make the call short with:
Name: Melissa Vasil
Subject: KWVA Board Meeting, Dayton Ohio July 26th, 2004
Complain that the Board is nullifying a valid election of Col. Lou Dechert.
Or, Call: Governor Bob Taft at:
Just off the phone with Jim Hannah of the AP in Dayton. Not talked to him in a long while, gave him the
guts of the story.
Also, just off the phone with WHIO-TV, Dayton
(937)-259-2111 ask for News Desk, Dana.
Dana is working up a profile for possible story as is Jim Hannah. If you call Dana, make it short and
subject; Korean War Veterans Group, Hijacked.
More to come!
Korean War Veterans Association Board Meeting, Dayton Ohio, 7/26/04
Call and/or email this man immediately.
Ask him to immediately investigate the Current Board Meeting in Dayton of the KWVA. Tell him to add you to
the list of complainants of irregularities of President Harley Coon.
Director of Veteran Affairs, Ohio
PH: 614-644-0892, or
Personally, I suggest email.
cc: Bob Labidie
Folks, Keep up the Fire! Got a call from the Atty General's office in Ohio, Jim Renshaw. He asked that
I call off the wolves.
I told him the contact people, Davidson and Diehl were not in office and this is a time sensitive issue.
He has a very deep file on this and is now having to man the oars, so to speak.
The issues before this group are both legal and political. Political in Ohio, for Coon and Mahoney, and
among KWVA members who have had their election HIJACKED! The legal issues will play out over time.
I called Michael Witherspoon, the CPA who certified the election. I gave his contact info to the media and
to the Attorney General. I am sure he will not be pleased and will notify the Board of Accountancy in
Illinois and the AICPA as he must do.
Mr. Witherspoon did a very good job for the membership of the KWVA!
Mr. Renshaw is going to call Lou Dechert after a lengthy talk with me. I explained that since the KWVA was
and is doing business in Ohio that there ARE Ohio issues.
The Cocoanut Telegraph* says that Pres. Coon will be in Washington, DC on the 27th to meet with high
ranking Republic of Korea officials for the Revisit Program. This will be a very unfortunate happenstance
for the rank and file membership since the recently elected officials will not have representation.
*Cocoanut Telegraph is a Floridian term for rumor control.
Each person needs to call 10 fellow KWVA members! When and if I get confirmation of a press story, I shall
cc: the Ad-Hoc with the slug line or airing time so that each person who has local media contacts can
alert their local media.
Slug line info is how the media look up a wire story and pull down for local printing or follow up.
I just got off the phone with the Office of the Governor of Ohio.
The Governor has uncategorically refused to produce additional financial records relating to the yearly
$50,000 grants from the Governors' Office of Veterans Affairs to Mr. Coon and Mr. Mahoney of the
Department of Ohio - Korean War Veterans Association.
The request consisted of copies of the cancelled checks, reports of use of funds, and all the file
relating to the grants. According to the Governor of Ohio, these records are not retained and are
unavailable to the Governor of the State of Ohio as a matter of law.
This is the first time in 30 years that I have been told that a governmental agency does not have access
to cancelled checks or financial records relating to taxpayer grants.
The record I did obtain was the check register of the Department of Ohio, but pages were missing from this
The contact number is 614-466-3555, Mr. Barron. Official statement from Mr. Barron. - You have "all you
are going to get." -
Here is a compilation of contacts that were referenced in Monday's flurry of Ad-Hoc and private emails.
Although Ohio officials do not really want this type of contact it is their collective jobs to handle
legal and political issues.
Collectively these people will tell you that there is nothing they can do with the internal operations of
a Veterans group, politically there is much that can be done.
I can tell you from personal experience that there is always something that an Attorney General can do to
control rogue behavior! For example: the County District Attorney is generally the arm of law enforcement
to handle potential criminal violations.
On the other hand, the same Attorney Generals often quash citizen complaints.
Ohio Governmental Contacts:
Governor Bob Taft's office:
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6117
Director of Ohio Veteran Affairs
*Mr. Labadie has regular direct contact with Mike Mahoney, Outgoing Director Ntl KWVA
Mahoney is President of the Dpt of Ohio KWVA
Department of Ohio - Korean War Veterans Association
35 E. Chestnut Street, Floor 4
Columbus, OH 43215
Attorney General Jim Petro
Secretary: Melisa Vasil*
* Always contact the Secretary, the most useful person on anyone's rolodex
Attorney General Petro's staff
Jim Renshaw, Attorney*
PH: PH: 614-466-4320
*Called Ted Barker twice on Monday 7/26/04
Mark Gribben, Attorney
Gary Diehl, Investigator
Charitable Law Section, Attorney General Ohio
150 E. Gay St. 23rd Fl.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Ms. Lisa Davidson*
Charitable Law Section, Attorney General Ohio
150 E. Gay St. 23rd Fl.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
PH: (614) 466-3180
* Ms. Davidson is the first person contacted in May 2004. She quickly started work on the complaints filed
by KWVA members, handing over to Gary Diehl.
On July 6th, 2004 Mr. Diehl made Mr. Coon register with the State of Ohio
New York Attorney General*
New York Charities Bureau
*This is the Division where the lapsed New York filing exists, referenced in previous email from Lynnita
Brown. Documents also posted on Ad-Hoc file system.
KWVA Judge Advocate Speaks Out
Following is an e-mail message from KWVA Judge Advocate Sherman Pratt to Nick Pappas, former president of
the KWVA. It was mailed July 26, 2004:
Copy of message from Ted Barker advising of Executive Council action at Dayton blocking election of
Dechert and appointment of Harley as acting president received.
I am at a loss to understand how the EC could believe that they could legally take such action. In the
unlikelihood that I am asked for my views I will so state, but I do not contemplate that I will be further
involved. With the completion of the election and the replacement of the president and council that
appointed me JA, I now consider my term expired and my duties as JA terminated.
Life Member KWVA
Sherman Pratt, Lt Col US Army (Ret)
15`12 So. 20th St.,
Arlington VA 22202
Tel 703 521 7706
Status of Coonite Takeover
Few details are yet known, but Lou Dechert and other elected officials of the KWVA drove to Columbus,
Ohio, on July 27 to meet with State of Ohio officials to file an injunction against Harley Coon and the
Coonites on the Executive Council who were holding the KWVA hostage. Sometime today, the reins of the
KWVA were finally turned over to Dechert and the newly-elected council members.
Meanwhile, reports are that Harley Coon was a disruptive force at a special meeting held in Washington DC
after illegally taking over the KWVA as a fourth-term interim president. KWVA member Keith Fannon
"I received a phone call from
J.D. Randolph this afternoon. As most of you know he went to D.C. to present the Freedom Plaque to
the DOD. He said that the ceremony was great with many South Korean dignitaries and ROK Veterans in
attendance. He said that Harley showed up and tried to force his way into the ceremony, but was ejected by
As more details are forthcoming about the strange turn of events surrounding the Dot Wenzel motion and Coonite
council member vote to obstruct Lou Dechert from assuming his duly-elected position as president of the
KWVA, the KWE will notify its visitors on this page.
KWVA National has tampered with the Year 2004 election process! See The "Special Bulletin" section
below for details.
What is termed an "official publication of the Korean War Veterans Association" has recently been
distributed to members of the KWVA by US mail. Headlined with the title, "Special Bulletin", this
publication is an obvious attempt to rig the Year 2004 election in favor of Coonite candidates. The
significance of this illegal tactic, which is coming out of the KWVA national headquarters at 1534
Marsetta Drive in Beavercreek, Ohio, is so outrageous that an appeal should be made to a federal judge to
intervene on behalf of the members of the KWVA. This attempt to rig the election is being made now that
the ballots have been distributed and voting has begun. "Official publications of the Korean War Veterans
Association" are funded by the members, including ALL candidates (Coonite candidates and Take Hill 2004
candidates) running for office who are dues paying members of the organization. The KWVA national is using
these members' money to run a smear campaign against non-Coonite candidates and to conduct one-sided
electioneering for Coonite candidates.
With the distribution of the "Special Bulletin" while the voting process is underway, the Year 2004
election has, in effect, been rigged by national officers who favor Coonite candidates and who are
attempting to convince members to elect Coonite candidates.
Take Hill 2004 & KWE Disclaimer
Lou Dechert, Candidate for President
Priorities as New President
Other Take Hill 2004 Candidates
Byron Dickerson for 2nd VP Bio
Lee Dauster for Director Bio
Dean McClain for Director Bio
Unethical Electioneering Tactics
- Coon Endorsements in Graybeards
- Edwards Attempts to Discredit Dechert
- Krepps Distorts the Facts
- Jack Edwards Plays the Shell Game
- Coonites Misuse The Graybeards
The "Special Bulletin"
Aftermath of the "Special Bulletin"
Lack of Defined Procedure
Reflecting Back - Election 2001
Reflecting Back - Election 1999
Jerome Manley Letter
The 2004 KWVA national election will be in July. This year, the term of office for the current illegal
President, as well as the First Vice President and Second Vice President will expire. So will the terms of
four Directors of the Executive Council. Successful candidates for the officer positions will hold office
from 2004 to 2006, and winning candidates for the four council positions will hold office from 2004 to 2007.
While it is extremely supportive of the Korean War Veterans Association itself, the Korean War Educator
is not supportive of the administration of Harley J. Coon. To begin with, Coon came by this particular
presidential term illegally, having circumvented KWVA by-laws to create a third-term presidency not
heretofore permitted by the KWVA's governing rules. Coon then unabashedly used the organization's national
magazine to electioneer for himself during the 2002 election. For instance, just prior to the 2002 election,
the Graybeards magazine carried a fraudulent photograph of the KWVA national headquarters. The caption under
the cosmetically-altered photograph of the "HarCo" building (owned at the time by Harley Coon), said it was
"first class" and "donated space." Neither proved to be true, but only a handful of KWVA members are yet
aware of this fact (and were not made aware until after the election), because The Graybeards magazine is
100% censored by Harley Coon and Vincent Krepps, the magazine editor. Members are told only what Coon and
Krepps want them to know.
During the Coon administration, the KWVA Quartermaster position was eliminated. The quartermaster
inventory was then sold in an unadvertised sale by the executive council to "one of its own." Council
members voted to sell the estimated $103,000 worth of inventory (value stated in The Graybeards) to KWVA
national officer Kenneth Cook. Cook then sold the items for his own personal gain, using the name "KWVA
Quartermaster" on his private bank account. He wrote insufficient funds checks on this account to vendors
(some of whom were members of the KWVA), causing harm not only to individual members, but also to the
reputation of the organization.
Furthermore, the $600,000-plus funds in the KWVA treasury have not been properly audited during the
entire Coon administration. (KWVA officials say they have been "95% audited.") Meanwhile, KWVA operating
funds have been distributed in the form of "Goodwill Gifts" to sponsor a baseball team in Harley Coon's
locality in Ohio, and to other organizations in which certain KWVA executive council members have interests.
Long-time, loyal members have been ousted from office and/or from the membership roster on trumped up
charges, and one associate member was even removed from the membership roster by "executive order" when
Harley Coon used what KWVA Judge Advocate Sherman Pratt called "implied powers" to once again circumvent
KWVA bylaws for self-serving purposes. There have also been breaches of advertising contracts with
Graybeards advertisers who do not agree with Harley Coon's administrative methods. Complaints from members
to the newsletter editor have resulted on more than one occasion in "Go to Hell" letters from Vincent
One of the latest travesties against the members of the KWVA came at the executive council meeting in
Beavercreek, Ohio, on October 23-26, 2003, when council member Don Byers tried to push through a motion that
would allow the current KWVA council members to recommend a slate of nominees to run for office. The bios
and photographs of these hand-picked candidates would be published in The Graybeards, but all other
candidates would merely be write-in candidates on the ballot. The Byers Motion was not defeated. Instead, it
now sits in committee and will be voted on at a later date. If it should pass, this motion would effectively
rig all future KWVA elections so that the officers and council members of the current sitting council would
always remain in control of the ballot.
Take Hill 2004 & KWE Disclaimer
The campaign to rid the KWVA of those persons guilty of the above offenses against the membership (and so
shamefully many more), is called, "Take Hill 2004." The Korean War Educator is so supportive of the efforts
of the organizers of Take Hill 2004 to improve the quality of the KWVA, it has reserved this page of the KWE
to provide bios and other information about Take Hill 2004 candidates. The following non-political
candidates are endorsed by the Korean War Educator. The KWE will not post the bios of any candidate who has
not stated in writing that he or she is opposed to the Harley Coon Administration. Also, any candidate
listed below must have also stated in writing that he or she, if elected, will strive to resolve and undo
the harmful acts against the members of KWVA that were perpetrated by Coon and other executive council
members during Coon's tenure as both the legal and illegal president of the KWVA.
LOU DECHERT, CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT
Mailing Address/Contact Information:
Col. Louis T. Dechert (Ret)
1144A Jim Meyer Drive
Alexandria, LA 71303
Campaign Promise of Louis Dechert
". . .When Lou Dechert is elected president of the KWVA, Lou Dechert will not make the
decisions. Instead, Lou Dechert will act like the president of the KWVA is supposed to act -- he will lead
discussions and occasionally have a tie-breaking vote, but the members of the Executive Council will make
the decisions. Dechert will serve the council--the council will not serve Dechert. In turn, and foremost,
both Dechert and the members of the Executive Council will serve the members of the KWVA -- which is as it
should be, but never has been, during the illegal term of Harley J. Coon. . ." [ Lynnita Jean Brown , KWE,
01.03.2004, publicly adopted as my campaign promise]. "Carrying out this campaign promise will restore
members-directed government to the KWVA, the beginning of the solution," Dechert said.
According to Dechert, this campaign promise is no good without electing Dick Adams, Byron Dickerson, Ed
Cutler, Dean McClain, Lee Dauster, and Bob Morga along with Dechert. Dechert further stated, "Electing me
will help to (1) restore self-respecting legal governance to the Korean War Veterans Association; (2)
provide a revitalized vision of the things the organization should be doing for veterans; (3) continue the
unique Graybeards as a magazine, with a better attitude and more representative of all the membership; and,
(4) provide and encourage openness to proposals for organizational and financial changes to better manage
the organization's affairs."
About Lou Dechert – In His Own Words
I am a candidate for President of the Korean War Veterans Association. My name is Louis T. Dechert (Lou
Dechert). You can get a very good idea of me, what I believe, and how I conduct business by checking my
website at www.dechertsitreps.com.
I was born in 1931 in the heart of the Texas hill country—Junction, Texas. About the time that I started
school, my dad, a "country boy", got a job with the new Bureau of Aeronautics (now the FAA) of the federal
government, and until the time I graduated from high school we traveled over all of the Central United
States. Dad was a field maintenance engineer technician building aerial navigation facilities.
I was in junior and senior high school during World War II, and active in the Civil Air Patrol Cadets and
the Boy Scouts. I graduated from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas, 1948, and started college in
Oklahoma. At that time, I enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard, HQ & HQ Battery, 179th Field Artillery
Battalion, 45th Infantry Division. I met my wife at college and we were married in Chanute, Kansas, August
21, 1949. At the completion of my sophomore year, we moved to Chanute and I worked as a relief yard clerk
for the AT&SF Railroad. Our first child—a daughter—was born January 9, 1951. Our son was born May 9, 1952.
On August 21, 1999, my wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.
Moving to Kansas took me out of the Oklahoma National Guard as it was being federalized for Korea.
Subsequently, I enlisted in the Regular Army and entered the service on a freezing winter morning, January
31, 1951, at Fort Riley, Kansas. Two years later I finished OCS and was on my way to Korea as a Second
Lieutenant. My highest enlisted rank was E5. My enlisted MOS was Infantry Squad Leader. My first officer MOS
was Armored Unit Leader. My highest officer rank was Lieutenant Colonel, RA, Colonel NG.
Sailing to Korea on the USNS General Hershey is another story! On a cold (remember Korea!!) night in
February 1953, I joined a 40th Division recon patrol between the positions of the 40th and 45th Divisions in
the Punchbowl. I was the platoon leader, and I froze my butt off!! Several months later I was the Executive
Officer of a Tank Company, part of the 140th Tank Battalion. Our battalion became the only unit in the 40th
Division in the entire war—and one of only two in 8th Army in 1953—to be awarded the United States
Presidential Unit Citation. It was for our support of the 12th ROK Division at the Battle of Hill 812,
called at that time, "Luke’s Castle." That battle cost us six tanks, and five KIA, involved our entire
battalion, and took almost two weeks before we defeated the enemy attack. Over 1,500 of our South Korean
troops died on the positions we were defending and/or counterattacking to take back. I had been wounded and
earned the Bronze Star with Valor during that battle.
Because of the caliber of the men that I met in Korea, I decided to try to make the Army a career. I was
fortunate to survive several cutbacks along with over 48 months of combat in Korea and Southeast Asia, and
Special Forces missions in South America and elsewhere, during a career of twenty-three years. I later was
in the New Mexico National Guard, and recently served again in Special Operations deployments. I attended
thirteen military schools, and served in every position from infantry squad leader to Infantry Brigade
Commander. My most memorable assignments were as Deputy Commander, 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, and
later as G3, 1st Field Force (SRAC) Vietnam.
During my military years, I finished college with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and a Master of Arts in
Spanish. I was accepted at the University of Texas (Austin) for the PhD program for Latin American Studies.
I am bilingual, speaking fluent Spanish and English. I was relatively highly qualified, but like most
Vietnam veterans, I found that starting a civilian career was difficult. You had to almost hide the fact
that you had been in Vietnam, or be prepared to fight when confronted by prospective employers. Over the
years, I built a career in management and consulting which has taken me through much of the United States
and several foreign lands. I have served on Defense Advisory Committees, and been a consultant to a House
subcommittee. I started the Consulting Services company in 1981, and am still active in that business,
although obviously on a reduced scale.
The men with whom I fought and took care of in Korea profoundly impacted on my life. In fact, in 1964, I
transferred to Special Forces because I felt that was about the only place left in the Army that the
officers and NCOs were like the ones I served with in Korea—dependable, experienced fighters. In the Army in
Korea, we had a large number of World War II officers and NCOs—some recalled, some career. They simply
wanted to win the war, get it over with. They were no-nonsense soldiers—men whom Time Magazine honored as
1950s Man of the Year, American Fighting Man.
In 1999, a retired Special Forces friend asked me to become a charter member of a local chapter of the
Korean War Veterans Association. At that time, I had never heard of the organization. I have been a leader
of that great group of men, Central Louisiana Chapter 180, of Leesville, Louisiana, for three years now.
In 2001, our chapter became extremely concerned over the illegal disregard of the National bylaws of the
KWVA by national officials. We decided to more or less go our own way, following the objectives that the
National was supposed to be following, but otherwise staying away from them, legally, as long as they were
breaking the law by disregarding bylaws and other legal problems. It finally became impossible for us to do
so. We need a National organization representing Korean veterans which we should not be ashamed of or shy
I have served in several veterans, military, and government organizations that conduct their affairs in
an outstanding manner. I know how things should be done. I am the Commander, Department of Louisiana, of the
Military Order of the Purple Heart, and a life member of the MOPH. I am a life member in the Association of
the US Army (AUSA), the 101st Airborne Division Association (#87), the 40th Infantry Division Association,
the Special Forces Association, and of the KWVA. In the past I have belonged to the American Legion, VFW,
and DAV. I was a Division Service Officer in the Texas American Legion.
Members, as Korean veterans we have yet another hill to take: Hill 2004, the 2004 National Election of
the KWVA. Taking Hill 2004 will: (1) restore self-respecting legal governance to the Korean War Veterans
Association; (2) provide a revitalized vision of the things the organization should be doing for veterans;
(3) continue the unique Graybeards as a magazine, with a better attitude and more representative of all the
membership; and, (4) provide and encourage openness to proposals for organizational and financial changes to
better manage organizations affairs.
Hill 2004 will not be the final hill. Remember, just like Korea, "always another hill…". But taking Hill
2004 will give the members the critical terrain needed for the future operations and existence of the
Association. I am prepared, ready, and willing to work with others of the same convictions to lead the
organization to take the hill.
I fully recommend Dick Adams, Past President/Past Director, KWVA, for 1st Vice President. John Crane,
President, West Florida Chapter #293 had originally planned to run for 2nd Vice President, but he has
recently taken ill and reluctantly had to bow out of the running. All Take Hill 2004 participants wish John
a speedy recovery. In the meantime, Byron Dickerson from the Dallas, Texas, Gen. Walton Walker Chapter of
the KWVA stepped up to the bat, agreeing to run in Crane's stead. He's an equally excellent candidate. I
likewise recommend Ed Cutler, President, Richard Cronan Chapter #17, Florida; Dean McClain, Past President,
Mahoning Chapter #137, Ohio; Lee Dauster, President, Tuolumne County Chapter #7, California; and Bob Morga,
Past director, KWVA/President, Central Long Island Chapter #64, New York, for Directors.
Let’s move out and Take Hill 2004! – Lou Dechert, Candidate for KWVA National President
Priorities as New President
On the KWVA Ad Hoc message board April 25, 2004, Lou Dechert announced these priorities for his
administration, if elected:
"If elected President, I have certain priorities, in a more or less order of importance and action, even
though they will all be in some stage of execution at the same time:
1) a 100 % legal audit of Coon’s records--thanks to some Directors steps in this direction are being
2) restoration of the legal bylaws of the KWVA;
3) an opportunity for all members abused by Coon to appear before the EC for redress that they were
denied in violation of the bylaws;
4) salvage of The Greybeards from its degradation as a political tool for coon, inc;
5) pressing the case for a Charter for the KWVA (which I have already begun);
6) Bylaws reform (reform of the LEGAL bylaws, that is--see point 2), which would of course include a
consideration of all submissions by the membership, preferably by Chapter and/or Department resolutions to
the EC for consideration--term limits, regionalization, meetings, and other matters the membership
Other Take Hill 2004 Candidates
Pledging to right the wrongs of the Harley Coon Administration
President: Lou Dechert, Louisiana, President/Commander Chapter 180, four years; Commander
Louisiana Department, Military Order of the Purple Heart, USA
1st Vice President: Dick Adams, California, Past President & Past Director, KWVA
2nd Vice President: Byron Dickerson, Texas, Judge Advocate, Department of Texas, KWVA
Director: Edward Cutler, Florida, President of Richard Cronan Chapter #17, KWVA
Director: Lee Dauster, California, President of Tuolumne County Chapter #7, KWVA
Director: Dean McClain, Ohio, Past President of Mahoning Chapter #137, KWVA
Director: Bob Morga, New York, Past Director, KWVA & President, Central Long Island Chapter #64,
BYRON DICKERSON - CANDIDATE FOR 2ND VICE PRESIDENT
Mailing Address/Contact Information:
Byron W. Dickerson
314 S. Horne
Duncanville, TX 75116
Campaign Promise of Byron Dickerson
"I am opposed to the Harley Coon administration as president of the national KWVA. If elected to the
position of Second V.P. of the national KWVA, I will strive to resolve and undo the harmful acts against
the members of KWVA that were perpetrated by Coon and other executive council members during Coon's
tenure as both the legal and illegal President of the national KWVA."
- Byron W. Dickerson, Candidate Sec. V.P. KWVA
About Byron Dickerson - In His Own Words
I was born, raised, and completed school in Girard, Texas. I entered the Army, August, 3, 1948. A few
months after the Korean War started, I was shipped to Korea, leaving the States on 15th of December 1950.
I arrived in Pusan, Korea, January 5, 1951. I was assigned to HQ CO, 2d Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment,
2d Infantry Division. I participated in several battles; the last one being Heartbreak Ridge. I rotated
from Korea on the 25th of November 1951. I put Korea out of my mind for the next fifty years.
When I learned there was a KWVA, I joined. I was asked if I would be willing to serve in some capacity
in the formation of a Chapter in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Sam Naomi, a national organizer,
contacted me in the summer of 2000 about forming Chapter 215. He appointed me the Chapter Judge Advocate.
I told him, "Sam I am not an Attorney." He said, " you don't have to be; you just do what you think is
So my position is that I just do what is right in any decision that comes before me. I am the one that
decides what's right based on the bylaws. I am currently the Judge Advocate of Chapter 215, Dallas, Ft.
Worth, Texas, and the newly elected State of Texas Judge Advocate. I served two years on the Board of
Directors of Chapter 215.
I retired from the U.S. Postal Service after thirty-seven years. I am 72 years old and in good health.
I have been married for 51 years (to the same woman).
I consider it an honor and privilege to be a candidate for Second Vice President of the National KWVA.
My objective is the betterment of the KWVA. I believe that the attainment of a federal charter would be a
step toward that objective. The admission or otherwise inclusion of DMZ veterans into the KWVA would also
be a positive step. I also believe that there should be an educational program within the organization
helping to make members aware of the various benefits available to them both at the national and state
levels. An example would be providing information of cold weather injury benefits that I believe many of
the members are unaware of.
I appreciate your consideration and support.
Byron W. Dickerson, LR22282
JA, State of Texas, KWVA
LEE DAUSTER - CANDIDATE FOR DIRECTOR, KWVA
Mailing address/Contact information:
15444 Camino del Parque
Sonora, CA 95370
Lee Dauster - In His Own Words
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri on Christmas Day 1928. My brother and I were abandoned by our father,
but we were fortunate to have a loving, caring mother who fought her way alone through the "Great
Depression," raising two boys. Our difficult time was compensated by the lessons learned watching our
mother fight the overwhelming odds. She taught me to be a fighter, and I find myself to this day doing all
I can to overcome the injustice that we are occasionally assigned.
I graduated June 1946 from high school and immediately joined the Marine Corps as a recruit at Parris
Island, South Carolina. I enlisted for two years (1946-48). After boot camp I was sent to Cherry Point,
North Carolina, and was assigned duty with a radar unit that tracked and directed fighter planes to the
supposed enemy planes.
Following my discharge, I served two years as an active reservist in a U.S.M.C. fighter squadron. I
served as the intelligence clerk for the squadron of F-4-U.4s. (This same squadron provided close air
support for Marines in Korea.) In September of 1950, I was called to duty from an inactive reserve status
and arrived in Korea with the third replacement draft aboard the ship General E.T. Collins. This draft was
made up of 1800 men. We arrived at Hungnam in late December 1950 when the Chosin Marines were coming out.
The same ship was used to transport many of the 1st Marine Division troops to safety at Pusan.
My service was with an artillery forward observation team assigned to George Company, 3rd Battalion,
1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. I was wounded twice in a six-week period, losing a leg to
automatic weapon fire on April 24, 1951 (the second night of the Chinese spring offensive). My personal
citations include two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star. I was retired with wounds, and after 14 months of
hospital time, returned to my wife and home in St. Louis.
From 1952 to 1956, I managed a drug store and fulfilled requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree from
Washington University in St. Louis. I graduated in May of 1956. My work, principally, was as a
manufacturer representative for a major work clothing company. I traveled in my work and lived in Houston,
Texas, from 1956 to 1965. Moving to California in 1965, my later work was as a self-employed casualty
insurance agent and broker, where I remained until retirement.
I currently serve as the Commander of KWVA Chapter #7, Tuolumne County, California. I am also the Past
Commander (President) of the Santa Clara County (San Jose, CA) Chapter #6 of the National KWVA. In
addition, I served as President of G-3-1 Korea, a Marine Corps reunion group. My activities also include
membership in the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Why do I want to become a national director of the KWVA? Well, I am a members' advocate. I believe that
the membership can be represented in an improved manner. I believe that those members who disagree with a
management style should be heard and fairly represented in an open forum. I believe that the bylaws of our
association should not be altered to satisfy or further the aims of any individual or group.
I respectfully solicit, and request your support in the forthcoming election.
- Lee Dauster, RO 05657, Candidate for Director
DEAN McCLAIN - CANDIDATE FOR DIRECTOR, KWVA
Mailing address/Contact information:
Dean B. McClain
521 Westgate Blvd.
Youngstown, OH 44515-3407
Ph. or Fax: 330-799-9565
Dean McClain - In His Own Words
My name is Dean B. McClain LR19921. I am seeking the office of KWVA National Director for the term
2004-2007. I have submitted a notarized copy of my DD214 showing eligibility to hold the office, and a
signed release for scrutinizing same.
I was born in July of 1932, and graduated from high school in 1950. I went to work on the railroad in
advance of graduation. I was drafted into the Army on December 10, 1952, where I trained as a locomotive
engineer. I shipped out in July of 1953, and served with a transportation railway battalion in Korea for
15 months. I was released on November 23, 1954.
I went back to the railroad, where I served 20-plus years. I served for several years as local chairman
of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen Union. I studied and worked six years in life insurance, where I
achieved a LUTC degree. I also worked for a local jeweler, where I learned watch making. I took business
administration courses, and then opened my first watch shop in 1968 while continuing to work on the
railroad. I was appointed Railroad Watch Inspector in 1982. I am now semi-retired, but remain active
part-time in our family jewelry business.
My affiliations with veterans organizations include life member, AMVETS, serving as Department of Ohio
deputy inspector general, serving on the national committee for the Korean War 50th anniversary (J.
Norbert "Skip" Reiner, chairperson), and District 19 vice commander. I was the American Legion post
adjutant, past 1st vice commander, chairman of Boys State, and aid to the Department Commander. I am the
founder and three-time president of KWVA Ohio Chapter 137. I was the two-term commander of the United
Veterans Council with a membership of 38 posts. I was president of Mahoning County Veterans Memorial.
I am also active in VFW, Army Navy Garrison, ITAM Vets, and am a Marine Corps League associate. I
produce a monthly newsletter to 38 local member posts. I receive weekly e-mail reports from the Washington
DC observers, and I attend several VA seminars each year to keep posted on Veteran Entitlements. In 2000,
I was voted Mahoning County Veteran of the Year, citing superior service to veterans.
I have served as a Scout Master, Kiwanis member, Insurance Agent Union Local Vice President, and
president of the City Camera Club. I am serving my second term as president of Austintown Democratic Club.
I am an active 32nd degree Mason, and a church member.
I believe I can help improve our Korean War Veterans Association, and I pledge to do my best to achieve
a supreme rated veterans organization. I pledge to attend every Executive Council meeting during my
tenure, understanding that two unexcused absences from meetings could cause removal from office. I further
pledge to monitor and protect the Constitution and Bylaws of the KWVA, and insure the adherence of same by
our national officers. High on my list of priorities are: obtaining a national charter, new programs and
better communications, and broader, unlimited range of input by our membership.
I need your vote. I want the job. Thank you.
- Dean McClain
Unethical Electioneering Tactics
Coonites Begin Smear Campaign
The 2004 Smear Campaign sponsored by Harley Coon and his Coonite followers began in earnest during the
month of February 2004. From Coon endorsements in The Graybeards to phony claims in e-mail messages to a
shell game of deceit, the Coonites once again are showing a low standard of ethics in the Year 2004 KWVA
Coon Endorsements in Graybeards
Lou Dechert’s opponents in this year's election began their unethical campaign tactics early. Illegal
KWVA President Harley Coon and Coonite Graybeards Editor Vincent Krepps started the ball rolling with their
standard, one-sided electioneering in The Graybeards. In the January/February 2004 issue (page 4), Coon
utilized the President’s Message section to state that Coonite candidate Jack Edwards had "earned the honor
of becoming the next President of the KWVA." Coon then went on to spout the good qualities of other Coonite
Edwards Attempts to Discredit Dechert
Candidate Edwards moved forward from this Coon political endorsement in the national magazine to begin
his own unethical smear campaign against his opponent, Lou Dechert of Louisiana. Dechert is the commander of
Chapter 180 Korean War Veterans, a group not affiliated with the KWVA. The chapter distanced itself from the
national KWVA when Harley Coon illegally changed the KWVA bylaws to run for an illegal third term of office.
Dechert explained, "In 2001 our chapter became extremely concerned over the illegal disregard of the
national bylaws of the KWVA by National officials. We decided to more or less go our own way, following the
objectives that the National was supposed to be following, but otherwise staying away from them, legally, as
long as they were breaking the law by disregarding bylaws and other legal problems."
While CENLA is not a KWVA chapter, Dechert himself is a life member of the Korean War Veterans
Association, and several members of the CENLA Chapter are members of the KWVA national. Dechert has served
in several veterans, military and government organizations. Besides being the Commander of CENLA, he is also
the Commander, Department of Louisiana of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and a life member of the
MOPH. He is a life member in the Association of the US Army (AUSA), the 101st Airborne Division Association
(#87), the 40th Infantry Division Association, and the Special Forces Association.
In spite of Dechert’s impressive and obvious military background, KWVA presidential candidate Jack
Edwards began efforts to discredit Dechert as early as February 2004. Election rules don’t require that a
candidate for national office be the president of a KWVA chapter, nor do any articles or sections within the
KWVA bylaws demand the return of a chapter charter if not all of the chapter members are members of the
national KWVA. Nevertheless, in an e-mail message dated February 22, 2004, Jack Edwards (over the titles
"Chairman Membership Committee" and "Member By-Laws Committee") demanded that his opponent Lou Dechert,
"return your KWVA National Charter to the National Secretary until your chapter decides it will abide by
National By-Laws." Edwards then distributed this same demand letter to 250 different e-mail recipients on
the Internet. The text of the Edwards demand is below:
FROM: Jack Edwards [email@example.com]
TO: Louis T. Dechert
CC: Tom Gregory; Harley Coon; Howard Camp
SUBJECT: Re: KWVA 2004 slate of officers
Lou, In response to your open letter dated Feb. 1,2004 Korean War Veterans. Since you are so knowledgeable
about KWVA affairs (you stated that your chapter has 48 members and only 11 are members of KWVA National)
since you are violating KWVA National By-Laws Mr. Chapter President, please return your KWVA National
Charter to the National Secretary until your chapter decides it will abide by National By-Laws.
- Jack Edwards - Chairman, Membership Committee
Member By-Laws Committee
Lou Dechert responded to Edwards with the following letter:
MISSION: Take HILL 2004!
Your email asserts "Since you are so knowledgeable about KWVA
affairs. . . ." I detect sarcasm.
I know a few things about being a good member in, and when elected, helping in directing the affairs of
veterans organizations of every stripe--and have done so. However, I seem to know a hell of a lot more
about good order and discipline than you--and your cohorts--appear to know. Your request, if based on fact
and bylaws is still out of order. No one has by legal corporate action, with EC approval, appointed,
delegated, directed you to write command or demand letters to chapter or department commanders--unless
you, too, would like to claim powers bestowed upon yourself from Lincoln's freeing the slaves a century or
so ago. I think otherwise--and so does Chapter 180.
If Chapter 180 is in violation of some bylaw, please cause someone in authority to cite article and
section in writing to our Adjutant. It will then be legally considered and proper disposition will be
Our membership changes almost from month to month, but it is now 50 live ones, plus three deceased. It
has been as low as 40 +3. We keep the names of the deceased on our rolls but do not count them in our
membership figures. However, headquarters still shows all three on the National Roster. And in addition to
these three, Mr. Edwards, you will find, upon examination of the National Roster, 28 additional names
among our 50 members who are dues paying members to National. There are two members more pending receipt
of national numbers--they joined just so they could vote against your slate in this election. You fellows
are not very much admired down here in the southwest.
Proper KWVA authority may contact the Office of the Louisiana Secretary of State for a copy of our
incorporation. Since that status is in no way dependent upon your incorporation (Charter) your
writ/authority does not apply.
Your "attention" to the affairs of CENLA Chapter 180 is noted.
Commander Lou Dechert LR27194
CENLA 180, KOREAN WAR VETERANS
Krepps Distorts the Facts
Outside of the pages of The Graybeards, Vincent Krepps took another strategy to discredit non-Coonite
candidates running in this year’s election. On February 18, 2004, Krepps widely distributed a letter that
attempted to discredit the service that non-Coonite candidates have given to the Korean War Veterans
Association through the years. Krepps claimed that, "Many of the other candidates have never been part of
KWVA National, nor have they been to meetings." This was a false statement. Take Hill 2004 candidates
include present and past chapter officers, as well as past national KWVA officers and active members of
Krepps further twisted the truth when he stated that, "All changes to our bylaws and others [sic] items
brought before the board was [sic] voted on or approved or disapproved by the board. All then went before
that membership present for a final vote. The rules we are enforcing today was approved or disapproved by
those present which required a quorum." The operative words here are "or disapproved by the board." The
change to the KWVA bylaws in 2001 that created a third-term presidency was, indeed, disapproved by the
board. In spite of this, Harley Coon bypassed the procedure to change the bylaws by not informing the
membership at large that such a vote would be taken at a general meeting, and by disregarding the decision
of the executive council. Numerous members of the KWVA, as well as the KWVA national judge advocate, Sherman
Pratt, condemned Coon’s orchestration of an illegal bylaws change. In spite of their protests, however, Coon
and his council supporters allowed the illegal bylaws change to stand. Krepps knew this full well when he
distributed his message replete with falsehoods.
Jack Edwards Plays the Shell Game
In order to seek votes, Coonite candidate Jack Edwards has distributed thousands of campaign letters to
KWVA members nationwide. This in itself is not underhanded. What is unethical, however, is the fact that
Edwards changes the names of the candidates on his endorsement slate, depending on to which area of the
country he mails his solicitation letter. For example, in a letter to Texas KWVA members, Edwards added
(without permission) the name of Take Hill 2004 candidate and Texan Byron Dickerson to his list of
Coon/Edwards endorsed candidates. In order to convince Texas voters that one of their fellow Texans was in
the Edwards corner, Edwards bumped off the name of candidate Mike Mahoney from his original slate of
endorsed candidates, inserting Dickerson's name. In his Texas letter, Edwards bumped off the name of
candidate Ken Cook from his original slate as well, inserting instead the name of Texas Coonite candidate
James Hall. (Cook is the KWVA national officer who wrote an insufficient funds check to a KWVA member, using
a private account entitled, "KWVA Quartermaster." The quartermaster position was eliminated from the KWVA
months earlier when the council sold the quartermaster inventory to "one of their own"--Ken Cook.) Hall is a
former POW friend of Harley Coon.
In a similar ploy, Edwards bumped off Cook's name from his original slate of endorsed candidates when he
mailed a solicitation letter to Florida KWVA members. In an effort to gain more Florida votes, Edwards added
the name of Floridian Ed Cutler, a Take Hill 2004 candidate, to his endorsement list. In both instances, the
solicitation letter was identical with the exception of the names on Edwards' slate of endorsed candidates.
On March 23, 2004, KWVA members in northeastern United States discovered that Edwards had mailed out yet
another bogus candidate slate, this time substituting the name of Bob Morga for Ken Cook. Morga is from the
northeast, is a former national director of the KWVA, and is fairly well-known in that part of the country.
Without a doubt, Candidate Jack Edwards was once again attempting to pull a fast one on the members of the
KWVA by throwing out Morga's name as a red herring to get votes in the northeast.
Further attempting to confuse and deceive KWVA members, Edwards sent countless copies of his campaign
letters out under the Department of Florida KWVA letterhead. Edwards is not an officer of the Department of
Florida. According to Jake Feaster, president of the Department of Florida KWVA, Edwards had no authority
whatsoever to utilize DoF stationery for electioneering purposes.
Edwards' latest attempt to scam the members of the KWVA was discovered on April 2, when friends of Take
Hill 2004 candidate Lee Dauster of California found Dauster's name in an Edwards' endorsed letter to
California veterans. What a shell game racket Jack Edwards has going!
In an open statement written long before Edwards’ Texas letter was distributed, Candidate Byron Dickerson
denounced the harmful acts against the members of KWVA that have been perpetrated by Coon and other
executive council members during Coon’s tenure as both the legal and illegal president of the national KWVA.
He was not pleased with the Edwards’ endorsement. His full statement appears above his biographical sketch
in this section of KWVA News. On March 26, Dickerson issued a complaint to Edwards after discovering that
his name was added to Edwards' Coonite slate without his permission. He wrote:
"Jack, I was shocked to hear my name was on your slate. I never gave you permission to use my name at
any time, matter of fact we have never communicated in any way at any time. I realized this was an attempt
on your part to divide and conquer. I would have thought that if you intended to include my name you would
have at least sent me a letter. But I received copies of the letter from a couple of friends across the
country. My position in this election is well documented at Korean War Educator (Lynnita Brown's Web
Site), Korean War Project, and the Ferret. All of these were posted long before your so called
endorsement. I am proudly committed to the TAKE HILL 2004 Slate headed by Lou Dechert and including Dick
Adams, Myself, Lee Dauster, Dean McLain, Bob Morga and Ed Cutler. We are united in this taking back for
the membership of the KWVA everything that has been taken away by you and your cohorts. By the way notice
how my name is spelled, not how you spelled it. " - Byron W. Dickerson
Cutler was equally not pleased with finding his name in Edwards’ Florida letter. In protest of Edwards’
unsolicited endorsement, as well as Edwards’ underhanded use of his name to win votes from his fellow
Floridians, Cutler wrote to Edwards:
"JACK: WHAT GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO PUT MY NAME ON YOUR SLATE? You know that I am on the slate with Lou
and Hill 2004. I was never asked by you or even mentioned to you that I wanted to be on your slate. I take
it as a compliment that you did it but, it is not acceptable. Take Hill 2004 is the slate I opted to be on
and will work with those on that slate to win this election. The Council meeting I attended in Northern
FL. I did not see you or anyone from your Chapter, so how dedicated are you to your own state. What other
members of KWVA have said about you and your deeds are things that I had no knowledge of therefore, I
can't say whether they are true or not. As I stated before I am a Korean Era Vet and proud of it. Why you
did nothing to stop what went on is not my call but that of your fellow vets that know you. TO SHOW ME
THAT YOU ARE A MAN OF HONOR IT IS ONLY FITTING THAT YOU SEND A LETTER TO ALL THAT REC'D YOUR SLATE,
STATING THAT CUTLER IS NOT ON YOUR SLATE AND WAS PUT ON BY MISTAKE. Again, it was a nice gesture to be
thought of but it was done underhanded and without permission. - Ed Cutler, running for Director with the
Hill 2004 slate"
Take Hill 2004 candidate Lee Dauster posted this message on the KWVA Ad Hoc message board on April 2:
"For two weeks I felt slighted when I heard that tricky Jack Edwards had not included me in his
dishonest attempt to split and divide. But Lo and Behold, I was not omitted from his plan. Down at our
local Veterans Building today, some vets started kidding me about a letter received from Edwards. I have
just learned that he "highly endorsed me" along with Coon, DeLap, and Sutphin for a director position.
What an underhanded, dishonest attempt to transfer my loyal friends into his camp, and what a joke to
think that it would work. My friends, I continue to be amazed at the total lack of integrity of this
criminal bunch. The odds are against us, but I recall other combat situations where we were outnumbered.
We always won, and I think this election is just another fire fight. WE Will Overcome. Semper Fidelis
(always faithful) to my honest Korean war Vet Brothers. - LEE DAUSTER"
The shell game that Jack Edwards is now playing with the members of the Korean War Veterans Association
is an indication that, if elected, Edwards will keep up the Coonite practice of deceiving the members for
his own self-serving purposes. By removing the names of his original endorsees and substituting them with
the names of opposition candidates, Edwards has shown that he is even willing to sell out his own teammates
in order to pick up where Harley Coon leaves off after Coon’s illegal tenure as third-term president has
Coonites Misuse The Graybeards
Before and after the Year 2004 election ballots were distributed in The Graybeards magazine, both the
current illegal president of the KWVA and the Coon-appointed magazine editor Vincent Krepps began to use the
columns of The Graybeards to attempt to carry out their own agenda during the 2004 election. Both men used
KWVA money and the national magazine to electioneer for Coonite candidates in the Year 2004 election.
Examples of this appeared in the most recent (May-June 2004) issue of the magazine. [See pages 4, 6, and 7.]
The "Special Bulletin"
Simultaneous with the distribution of the April-May Graybeards magazine, but under separate cover, a
"Special Bulletin" was mailed to the membership of the KWVA under the auspices of the Korean War Veterans
Association. The address on the letterhead of the bulletin appears to be the home address of Harley Coon,
one of the candidates in the Election 2004. It was mailed via Non-Profit Permit No. 3 in Jacksonville, FL.
KWVA Ad Hoc member Kelly Goodblood did some investigating and found out that Permit No. 3 is owned by
Finisterre Publishing Incorporated, P.O. Box 70346, Beaufort, SC 29907. The company is the publisher of The
Graybeards, official newsletter of the KWVA.
The bulletin purportedly has a three-fold purpose: (1) to convey timely information about the upcoming
20th annual KWVA reunion, (2) to request assistance from the membership in obtaining a Federal Charter for
the organization, and (3) to clarify misconceptions and false accusations concerning the procedures and
actions of the current KWVA administration. Not much more than a bare outline of the agenda for the Year
2004 reunion was published in the "Special Bulletin", and a mere quarter of a page was devoted to requesting
help from the members to obtain a federal charter. Most of the remainder of the bulletin was used in an
attempt to discredit the Korean War Educator Foundation and its founder, Lynnita Brown. Above all, it was
used by its author to tout the merits of electing Coonite candidates in this years national election.
The "Special Bulletin" is the most blatant, one-sided electioneering tactic in the entire history of the
Korean War Veterans Association. It, in fact, goes far beyond electioneering to actual tampering with the
election process because the timing of the distribution coincided with the actual marking of ballots that
had already been distributed to KWVA members. Within the columns of the "Special Bulletin", the unknown
person who authored the bulletin as an "official publication of the Korean War Veterans Association"
recommended that the members of the KWVA vote for a particular slate of candidates over other candidates
running for office. The "Special Bulletin" is an example of yellow journalism and unethical conduct on the
part of officials of a non-profit at their worst. Its unknown author apparently had access to the membership
roster of the KWVA, and chose to exploit it by campaigning for his or her personally-preferred candidates,
using KWVA treasury money to electioneer for them.
The bulletin contains eleven "false accusations" purportedly made by Lynnita Brown via the Korean War
Educator. The accusations stem from a document called "Recap - Harley Coon Administration." The Recap was
written by Mrs. Brown with the assistance of members of the KWVA. In recent weeks and months, the Recap has
been widely distributed to KWVA chapters and individual members, and it is posted on two places on the
Korean War Educator website: KWVA News - About Harley Coon and KWVA News - Harley Coon Recap.
The unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" calls the issues listed on Brown's Recap, "without merit."
Each "false accusation" and "fact" listed in the "Special Bulletin" is herein addressed by Mrs. Brown via
this page of the Korean War Educator. The members of the Korean War Veterans Association need to investigate
the issues and facts and make their own determination as to the merits of the issues brought forth in the
(1) Issue No. 21 of the KWE Recap makes the following
accusation about the Harley Coon Administration: Issue: Ill-treatment of the Korean War Educator
Foundation. By issuing a recommendation of "no support" for the KWE in the President's Message (pg. 4,
November/December 2003 The Graybeards), Harley Coon violated Article 1 (Charter), Third Section, 4, of the
KWVA bylaws. This is an act harmful to the members of the KWVA.
In response to this accusation, the unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" made the true statement that
Lynnita Brown of the Korean War Educator was turned down by the KWVA Finance Committee for a $15,000
request to help finance the website that she maintains. Brown's proposal was turned down at a finance
committee meeting prior to the annual meeting in 2003. Over a month passed before Brown received word from
the KWVA that the proposal had been denied. What is not fact is that Brown then began some sort of "very
vindictive" campaign in an attempt to malign the KWVA with false accusations. Brown, a long-time associate
member and supporter of the KWVA, is also a seasoned grant writer. She has written well over $200,000 in
successful grants. She wrote some unsuccessful ones along the way, too. As such, Brown learned long ago
that, when it comes to grants, "you win some and you lose some."
The Korean War Educator ranks as one of the top Korean War-related websites in the world. No salary money
is expended by the organization, which is entirely devoted to honoring Korean War veterans and educating
the public about the Korean War. The Korean War Veterans Association should want to support the KWE.
However, that old adage, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink," holds equally true
for the national officers of the KWVA. It takes leadership with vision to understand the importance of the
Korean War Educator for Korean War veterans. Unfortunately, the majority of the current leaders of the
national KWVA obviously do not have that vision.
It should be noted that, long before the KWE grant proposal was turned down, Brown was publicly expressing
her concern over KWVA mismanagement at the national level. It should be further noted that, just because
the KWVA Finance Committee turned down the KWE's grant proposal doesn't mean the KWE can't survive. If you
are reading this message, obviously the KWE is still going strong! The Korean War Educator has no need to
(2) Issue No. 14 on the Recap makes the following accusation
about the Harley Coon Administration: "95% audit" of over $600,000 of KWVA cash assets. Investigation has
revealed that no full audit of the organization's books and records has been taken during all of Coon's 5+
years as President, both the legal and illegal years. Poor stewardship of membership dues is a harmful act
against the members.
The fact that the leadership of the national KWVA is now scrambling to try to get an audit done (according
to the "Special Bulletin") so that it will appear in the post-election issue does not erase the fact that
no full audit of the KWVA's financial records has been conducted in the almost six-year term (four years
legal, two illegal) of Harley Coon.
(3) Issue No. 15 of the Recap addresses: Slow growth of the
National KWVA treasury. Why isn't the KWVA's currently-reported $600,000 treasury growing with added
annual dues and fund-raising income? Hypothetical guess for dues income alone (actual figures not
reported): 10,000 non-lifetime members x $20.00 = $200,000. Again, poor stewardship of membership dues is
a harmful act against the members.
This issue is not an accusation. It is a question that, until the "Special Bulletin" was published, had
not been addressed by the leaders of the KWVA. In the unknown author's response to this issue, funds
released for the 2003 annual reunion to reduce the cost of individual payments and fees was mentioned.
This statement causes a new set of question to arise: Who, specifically, were the members who benefited
from the payment reduction? Has an audit of the 2003 reunion expenditures been conducted? If yes, by whom?
Have the results of the audit been published? If yes, when and where? It should also be noted that Issue
No. 15 of the Recap is directly related to Issue No. 34, Falsifying/Padding Membership Figures. This issue
will be addressed later on this page.
(4) & (5) Issues No. 1 and 2 of the Recap address both the
illegal change of KWVA bylaws and the illegal third term presidency of Harley J. Coon. The Recap
statements are: 1) Issue: Illegal change of KWVA bylaws. Bylaws were violated for the amendment process
(KWVA bylaws changes require that they: (a) be presented to the Chairperson of the Bylaws Committee at
least thirty days before the next scheduled meeting of the Executive Council (b) be considered at that
meeting [and, presumably, passed] (c) be published in Graybeards, and (d) voted upon at the next annual
meeting). Harley Coon violated this process in 2001. The motion to eliminate term limitations for all
officers failed by a vote of 6 yes 7 no at the council meeting in Crystal City, VA on July 25, 2001 (see
pg. 6, July/August 2001 The Graybeards). Coon ignored the council's vote, bringing the defeated amendment
before the membership for a vote the next day--in direct violation of Article VII, Section 2 of the KWVA
bylaw. The Judge Advocate subsequently ruled that Coon had violated the bylaws, and that "there is no
bylaws provision for the general membership to consider a bylaw change not first considered and approved
by the Council." This was a harmful act against the membership. (2) Issue: Illegal third term presidency .
Harley Coon ran for office a third term, in spite of the Judge Advocate's ruling declaring that a third
term presidency was illegal because the KWVA bylaws were changed illegally in July of 2001. Coon has been
serving as the illegal president of the KWVA since July 28, 2002. This is a harmful act against the
The governing laws of the Korean War Veterans Association are its bylaws. The bylaws specifically state
how bylaws can be changed. In 2001, Harley Coon violated those bylaws. Two different judge advocates (both
appointed by Harley Coon himself) rendered formal opinions as to the legality of the bylaws change in
2001. They both stated the bylaws had been violated. Coon bypassed them for the self-serving purpose of
staying in office during the 50th anniversary commemorative events marking the beginning and end of the
Korean War. Harley Coon is the illegal president of the KWVA--pure and simple.
(6) Issue No. 4 on the Recap deals with the illegal removal
of members. It states: Issue: Illegal removal of members. Removal of three members (Pappas, Rittenhouse,
Tramonte) from the executive council and/or membership roster were based on trumped up charges. These were
harmful acts against members.
The "Special Bulletin" states that the KWVA's "president" did not have the authority to cancel the
membership of Tramonte or Rittenhouse. That certainly is true. Whether sitting legally or illegally as the
president of the KWVA, Harley Coon did not have the authority to remove either Tramonte or Rittenhouse
from the council or from the membership roster, as the case may be. The matter must be brought before the
Executive Council. There was no quorum present when Coon brought this issue to the Executive Council in
Tuscola, Illinois. When there is no quorum present, business cannot be conducted. The bylaws do not allow
the decision-makers on the Executive Council to be bypassed on a matter of this great importance. When
Coon bypassed the Council, he violated the KWVA bylaws.
(7) The "Special Bulletin" states that the issue of illegal
procedural actions with respect to removal of members is a "false accusation". Interestingly, the unknown
author of the "Special Bulletin" brings up the name of Nick Pappas, a strong opponent of the Coon
Administration and long-time thorn in Harley Coon's side. The Korean War Educator's Recap lists the issue
of illegal procedural actions with respect to removal of members as issue No. 5. There is absolutely no
reference to Nick Pappas in Issue No. 5. The text of Issue No. 5 on the Recap is published below verbatim.
It is 100% true and accurate, and cannot be refuted by Harley Coon or any member of the Executive Council
because the text is based on the official minutes of the KWVA:
Issue: Illegal procedural actions with respect to removal of members. Coon conducted a General Membership
meeting (quorum present) on March 24, 2001, at which time illegal president Coon by-passed the procedures
mandated in the KWVA by-laws to expel members of the KWVA, as well as to expel members of the Executive
Council. Removals, suspensions, and expulsions must be brought before a legal Executive Council meeting
for a 2/3 vote PRIOR TO GOING BEFORE THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP FOR A VOTE. The Executive Council meeting held
on March 24, 2001 immediately before the general membership meeting, did not have a quorum present.
(Absent at the Tuscola meeting: Magill, Clawson, Settle, Trousdale, Morga, Tramonte, Adams, Rittenhouse).
WHEN THERE IS NO QUORUM AT AN EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING, NO BUSINESS CAN BE CONDUCTED. By calling for a
vote of two types of expulsion (from membership roster & from executive council) via non-executive council
members at a general membership meeting, Coon violated Article II. Section 2.b and Article III. Section
5.a. When Coon violated Article II. Section 2.b and Article III. Section 5.a, he also violated Article
III, Section 7.a. In that Article, the President is mandated to perform the functions conferred upon him
by the bylaws. Coon failed to do that, and in so doing, he caused harm to two specific members of the KWVA
(Rusty Tramonte and Skip Rittenhouse) and harmed the members in general by refusing to comply with the
(8) The unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" claims that
issue No. 9 on the Korean War Educator's Recap of the Coon Administration is a "false accusation." The
stated issue is: Falsehood by Harley Coon with respect to "Donated space" for a headquarters. The "donated
space" was a small area in a building that was owned by Coon, and that housed his company, HarCo Tool Co.
(see pg. 4, May/June 2002 issue of The Graybeards). Investigation revealed that apparently the space was
not "donated" after the election. A $52,000 charge was made in KWVA's statement of operations under "Main
Office, Beavercreek, Ohio" (see pg. 11, November/December 2002, The Graybeards for breakdown of expense).
This was an act harmful to members.
The Korean War Educator once again refers the members of the KWVA and the general public to page 11 of the
November/December 2002 issue of the Graybeards. The budget for the national headquarters published there
directly contradicts what was stated on page 4 of the May/June 2002 issue of the Graybeards.
(9) The "Special Bulletin" notes that Lynnita Brown made the
false accusation that the organization was not in poor financial health when President Coon took office.
Lynnita Brown made no such accusation in the Recap or anywhere else.
(10) In the guise of responding to Issue No. 22 of the Recap,
the unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" took the opportunity to electioneer for his or her candidates
of choice, using KWVA money to do so. Issue No. 22 states: Issue: Attempt to rig elections. KWVA Director
Don Byers motion that effectively will "rig" all future KWVA elections if passed. It is also a motion that
violates Article III, Section 3.D. Passage of the Byers motion would be an act harmful to the members of
This issue can be further studied by reviewing the Byers motion on page 11 of the November/December 2003
issue of the Graybeards. In it, Byers proposed that the KWVA Nominating Committee establish a recommended
slate of officers and directors for the next and all future elections. The minutes state, "The recommended
slate of one individual for each office, along with their pictures and resumes, shall be published in the
Graybeards and on the official ballot. Space shall be provided on the official ballot for write-in
candidates." Jack DeLap seconded the motion and it is now in committee. The Korean War Educator and
Lynnita Brown stand firmly by this accusation. If the Byers motion passes, all future elections of the
KWVA will be rigged.
(11) The censorship of the Graybeards magazine is well-known
and can be proven hands down. Issue No. 8 of the Recap is actually about illegal electioneering more than
it is about general censorship. It states: Use of The Graybeards magazine for illegal electioneering. The
Judge Advocate's ruling with respect to the illegal third-term presidency was completely ignored when
Harley Coon and his associates used the national KWVA magazine for illegal electioneering By selectively
using one-sided material to assist Coon to get reelected for an illegal third-term presidency, and by
censoring and/or shutting out any opposing material for use in The Graybeards, both Coon and Krepps
prostituted the election process. This caused serious damage to what otherwise should have been a fair and
unbiased election process. Once again, the membership of the KWVA was harmed by these actions. (See pp. 4,
7, 21, May/June 2002, The Graybeards.)
The unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" places the entire responsibility for the contents of the
Graybeards on one contractual employee of the KWVA: Vincent Krepps. Persons desiring to file an individual
or class action suit against Mr. Krepps for misuse of his authority or possible mail fraud based on any
misinformation or falsified photographs published under Krepps' direction might want his contact
information: Vincent A. Krepps, 24 Goucher Woods Ct., Towson, MD 21286-5655; ph. 410-828-8978; e-mail
In the meantime, it is interesting to note that 38 issues were brought forth in the Recap of the Harley
Coon Administration written by Lynnita Brown. They addressed everything from fraudulent photographs
published in the Graybeards to illegal bylaws changes to padding membership figures to conducting business
without a quorum present--and so much more. The unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" avoided any mention
of the remaining 27 issues.
The dirty electioneering tactics just keep on coming from Coon & Company -- with the members of the
Korean War Veterans Association paying dearly for them in more ways than one. Although the "official
information" stated in the "Special Bulletin" could just as easily have been published in the pages of the
most recent issue of The Graybeards, the culprit(s) behind the mailing of the "Special Bulletin" frivously
spent hundreds of dollars of KWVA money in an effort to sway the election in favor of Coonite candidates.
The following is also food for thought: The "Special Bulletin" was authored by someone who didn't have
the fortitude it takes to stand behind the "truth" of what he or she wrote by attaching his or her name to
the document. Any coward can write an anonymous document. The "Special Bulletin" was the act of such a
The compilation known as the Recap of the Harley Coon Administration was written by Lynnita Jean Brown,
111 E. Houghton St., Tuscola, IL 61953; ph. 217-253-4620; e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. Brown has always made
herself known. In contrast, the author of the "Special Bulletin" hides in a cowardly fashion behind the
name, "Korean War Veterans Association." If his or her given name is not worth stating, then more than
likely the content of the anonymous "Special Bulletin" is not worth reading. The members of the KWVA should
care less what a coward has to say, and focus on the documented issues that have been openly brought forth
and addressed in the Recap and on Don Finch's KWVA Ad Hoc message board. The Korean War Educator Foundation
encourages the voting members of the KWVA to support the anti-Coonite candidates who are taking a stand for
what is right for the future of the Korean War Veterans Association.
TAKE HILL 2004! - Lynnita Brown
Aftermath of the "Special Bulletin"
When KWVA members expressed outrage over the distribution of the "Special Bulletin," Harley Coon passed
the buck to council members Jim Ferris and Dot Schilling Wenzel by stating that the pair had entertained a
motion for, and the council then authorized, the distribution of the "Special Bulletin." According to Coon,
Ferris and Wenzel made and seconded motions to approve the "Special Bulletin" at an earlier council meeting.
On the KWVA Ad Hoc message board, Coon shouted this message: " AT THE BEAVERCREEK MEETING DIRECTOR JAMES
FERRIS MADE A MOTION TO SEND OUT A SPECIAL BULLETIN AND IT WAS SECOND BY DOT SCHILLING. MOTION PASSED.
ORDERS CARRIED OUT. - H.J.C."
In an angry response letter to Coon, Ferris wrote:
"Harley: What the hell is going on, have you lost your mind. The Newsletter that we discussed at the
Beavercreek meeting was supposed to be just that. A way of communicating information that would be useful
to the membership during the period that the Graybreads was being printed. It was also supposed to be used
by the members to send in their thoughts on any subject that they were concerned with. This so called
Special Bulletin apparently is being used by you for political reasons. This [is] wrong and you know it.
You were supposed to appoint two people to oversee this newsletter and you have not done that. The
membership deserve an apology, I deserve an apology and Dottie deserves an apology and you should send out
at your own expense another "Special Bulletin" condemning the first one you sent out, and admit it was a
mistake. The damage is done now but it may help. I am at a loss for words on this subject it is
outrageous. I will begin to notify all of the members in New York State and I suggest the other Presidents
of Departments begin immediately to inform their members of this travesty. - Jim Ferris, National
Unfortunately, a retraction is not possible. Once the words were distributed to the membership in an
attempt to foil the election chances of Take Hill 2004 candidates (anti-Coonite candidates), they could not
be taken back. The national headquarters of the KWVA has well and truly tainted the Year 2004 election. This
flagrant use of KWVA treasury money to sway the election has not been accepted quietly. Newspaper reporters,
syndicated columnists, attorney general's offices, and other legal authorities are now being called and
contacted by members of the KWVA. The leaders of the Korean War Veterans Association behind this latest scam
against the members have dragged the KWVA to rock bottom level with their lack of integrity.
An example of this lack of integrity can be found in a KWVA Ad Hoc message to Roger Haas from Harley
Coon. On June 7, Coon wrote: "I just returned from up state New York where I was asked to speak at a
memorial dedication. There were 5 chapters in attendance and all made comments of the good job national is
doing." KWVA National director and New York resident Jim Ferris responded on June 8:
"I very seldom send anything over the AdHoc for reasons of my own. Not derogatory of the AdHoc but
reasons of my own.. Harley Coon told us he was at a memorial service in New York recently and 5 chapters
told him that he was doing a wonderful job. He also, in a very significant way alluded to the fact that I
was not there for this dedication.
He was correct in this matter. I was not there. I do not have $10,000.00 a year travel allowance as he
does, however that was not the reason I did not attend. I had a family function that needed my attention.
I am at a loss to think of who the five chapters were. That is over a third of the chapters who just
recently asked me to denounce his actions concerning the use of the Graybeards and the so called "special
bulletin" for political reasons.
My fellow KWVA veterans please remember the source and remember that I am the only guy on the entire
national executive board that has stood fast against the pressures of the establishment.
I doubt very much that 5 chapters praised Harleys work, however I am sure some did and that is ok with me.
We all have our opinions, thank God for that or we are not to survive."
Later in the day on June 8, another letter from KWVA National Director Jim Ferris appeared on the Ad Hoc
message board. Addressed to the executive council, it was written by Jim Ferris on behalf of New York
members of the KWVA. It said:
25 May 2004
James E. Ferris, President
New York Department Korean War Veterans Association
4311 Lazybrook Circle Liverpool, New York 13088
Mr. Harley J. Coon, President
Korean War Veterans Association Incorporated
1545 Marsetta Drive
Beaver Creek, Ohio 45432
Dear President Coon:
A New York State Department of the KWVA conference was held in Calicoon, New York on 20 May 2004, and
attended by members of a majority of the affiliated chapters within the Empire State.
The poor judgment you exercised in issuing a so called "Special Bulletin" in an attempt to influence
the upcoming National election was discussed at length, as was your Presidents’ Message in the Graybeards.
It was unanimously felt that your interference in this matter was ill conceived, in poor taste,
unprofessional and unworthy of someone who purports to be an honorable person.
Our Department members demanded by majority vote that I as President send you this letter of censure on
behalf of the thousands of members within our State. We realize it is too late to undue the harm you have
done within the democratic process and to those members who aspire to National Office.
(signed) James E. Ferris, President
New York State Department KWVA
If KWE readers have documented evidence that the Coonite faction of election candidates has carried out
other unethical campaign tactics, please contact Lynnita Brown email@example.com. Proof in
writing is required.
Lack of Defined Procedure
Jake Feaster, President of the Florida Department of the KWVA, recently pointed out on the KWVA Ad Hoc
message board that the following safeguards to ensure a more valid election are not currently defined by
either the bylaws or the officials of the Korean War Veterans Association. He said, "Presently nothing is
shown in either a procedures manual or bylaws regarding the balloting procedures. It is all behind closed
doors, leaving many questions by the KWVA membership regarding the validity of the organization's national
elections." Jake brings KWVA members' attention to these extremely important questions:
1. What are the instructions given to the CPA as to which ballots are from paid-up members?
2. If the CPA is given a list of paid-up members, what is the effective cut-off date for posting their
3. The Mar/Apr Graybeard contains the ballot; is it sent ONLY to those who were eligible to vote as of the
date the "labels" (approximately Apr 1) were printed?
4. Are those members whose dues are paid (new & renewals) AFTER the labels (#3 above) and before the
deadline date for counting ballots, sent a ballot?
5. To solve the problem noted in #4 and created by #3, would it not be logical (if it is not being done
already) to send a Graybeard with ballot to ALL whose dues are paid through the previous year and let the
auditor screen out any ballot that was not valid as of the time ballots were counted, using a list
provided him/her which listed ALL who had paid thru the date of the ballot count?
Reflecting Back - Election 2001
- Coon engineered an illegal change in the term limits clause of the KWVA bylaws by bypassing the proper
procedure to change those bylaws for his own self-serving purposes.
- Numerous council members did not take a stand against this illegal action.
- Coon's Coonite sidekick Ken Cook (appointed by Coon as Nominating Committee chairman) accepted Coon's
nomination as candidate for president, knowing full well that Coon's bid for a third term was in direct
violation of the bylaws, and had been illegally orchestrated by Coon himself.
- Use of the Graybeards for Coon's self-serving electioneering took place just prior to the election.
- (5) A fraudulent picture of the KWVA headquarters was published in the Graybeards to deceive the
members of the KWVA at election time.
- A false claim of "donated space" for the headquarters (a Coon-owned building) was published in The
Graybeards just before the election. A budgeted cost for that space in the amount of $52,000 was then
published in The Graybeards just after the election.
- Newsletter Editor Vincent Krepps (a Coonite) used his control of The Graybeards columns to electioneer
for the illegal candidate, Harley Coon.
- The CPA firm that counted the ballot was from the Nominating Committee Chairman's hometown. Cook is a
Coonite who was appointed to his current position by Harley Coon after Cook had lost his bid for office in
an earlier election.
- Election results presented at the general membership meeting following the election were announced by
Coonite Cook, and he claimed the results were in favor of Coon.
- The Executive Council members then just minutes later voted to destroy all ballots with undue speed so
there could be no possibility of a recount.
- The Executive Council failed to follow Roberts Rules of Order by failing to state in the official
minutes who made the motion to destroy those ballots.
- Sherman Pratt, the Coon-appointed KWVA Judge Advocate (a friend, supporter, and advocate of Harley
Coon) let all things illegal slide right through with little, if any, protest. (13) See again #2.
Reflecting Back - Election 1999
During the 1999 election, erroneous voting information was printed in The Graybeards magazine that
resulted in problems with counting the ballots. KWVA bylaws forbid the photocopying of ballots, but the
photocopy error in the 1999 election was caused by The Graybeards editor Vincent Krepps, not the voters
themselves. Two national KWVA Judge Advocates offered their opinion on this and other matters in letters
written in October of 1999. The text of the letters follow.
Edward Magill Letter to Nick Pappas
October 18, 1999
Dear Mr. Pappas:
This is in response to your letters of September 22, 1999 and October 4, 1999, with enclosures.
Based upon a careful review of the material included with your first letter, it is evident that there
is no legal basis for the executive council’s 9/12/99 action denying the immediate past president a vote
on matters being considered by the council. The action is also clearly contrary to the council’s past
practice. It is my opinion, therefore, that the council’s challenged action was illegal and that the
immediate past president is entitled to voting privileges as a member of the executive council.
With respect to the issue raised in your second letter, after reviewing the materials submitted
therewith, it appears that the executive council was technically correct in deciding not to count
photocopied ballots in the recent election.
In retrospect, it is obvious that the problem was created when erroneous voting information was printed
in the KWVA’s official publication, THE GRAYBEARDS and never corrected, thereby misleading 259 otherwise
qualified voters to their ultimate detriment. Under these unusual circumstances, it is reasonable to opine
that the KWVA is equitably estopped from disregarding the 259 challenged ballots that were the direct
result of its own confused instructions to KWVA voters.
In my considered opinion it would be in the best enlightened interests of the KWVA to rescind the
original election results and to have a recount including the 259 challenged ballots.
(signed) Edward L. Magill
Sherman Pratt Letter to Harley Coon
October 20, 1999
This further responds to your telecom of the other night wherein you asked if I would accept the
appointment of KWVA Judge Advocate, and I indicated that I would consider it. I gathered that you have had
some differences in views with the present JA or that he does not desire to continue to serve. I feel most
complimented that you would want my services and of course am eager, as always, to do what I can on behalf
of the Association. I am ever mindful of the contributions of time and effort that you are unselfishly
making to keep the KWVA rolling and if there is something I can do harmoniously to support you and lighten
your load I am only too willing to oblige.
Following your call, some additional information was brought to my attention in the form of copies of
letters by former President Nick Pappas to the present Judge Advocate Ed Magill and Magill’s reply
thereto. My understanding is that you also have copies, or are aware of their contents.
The substance of the matter seems to be that there are some disagreements within the Association
concerning (1) the legality of the Executive council’s recent action to change the Bylaws and withdraw the
right of a past president to vote as a member of the Executive Board, and (2) whether the 259 challenged
ballots from the last election should be counted or disregarded. JA Magill has written that he feels (1)
the action of the council was illegal and (2) that the challenged ballots should not be rejected because
erroneous voting information, relied on by the membership to their detriment, was printed in the
Graybeards. There may be, of course, other background information related to this that I am unaware of and
that could alter my views, but on the basis of the documents I have seen, and references cited, I want you
to know before proceeding further with action to appoint me JA that I agree fully with the legal opinion
of JA Magill.
Additionally, if you elect to proceed with my appointment notwithstanding the knowledge that I am in
agreement on the above matters with the present JA, I want to make it clear that I would agree to serve
only if approved unanimously, or nearly unanimously, by the Executive Council. If there is friction or
opposition on my appointment, I would not want to be a party to any development that would cause strife,
unrest or dissension in the KWVA. We have had enough of that in the past and the time is past due now to
end it and move forward and onward.
Be assured of my deep appreciation to you for considering me for this important position.
(signed) Sherman W. Pratt
Jerome Manley Letter
Following is a letter written by Jerome Manley to Vincent Krepps, editor of the KWVA newsletter. Manley
lives at 660 Marigold Terrace, Fridley, MN 55432. His phone number is 763-571-6963, and his e-mail address
is firstname.lastname@example.org. The letter is unedited.
April 18, 2004
Because the ballot appeared in the March-April issue this letter will have no effect on the outcome of
the elections when it appears in the May-June issue. In fact considering the views President Coon's has
been allowed to express in the President's message in the past with no rebuttal it would not surprise me
to find that this letter will never see the light of day in the Graybeards "letters to the editor."
I am a life member of the following veterans organizations, the National KWVA, Minnesota KWVA Chapter
11 Society of the Third Infantry Division, USA, VFW Minnesota Post #363, 7th US Regiment Association, and
the Combat Infantrymen's Association. At the present time I am the National President of the Society of
the Third Infantry Division USA. I write a column for the Society magazine also called the "Presidents
Never, in my two years as Society President, have I allowed myself to express my personal opinion on
such a purely political issue on who should be elected to any office, let alone devote an entire column to
telling a captive audience what a terrific job I have done over the past few years and how only those who
I endorse will continue my work.
I find it highly unethical for President Coon to even consider using his column for such purely
political self praise and I also consider it terribly poor judgment on your part, as editor, to allow him
to do so. If, in a moment of poor judgment I wrote and submitted such an article to the editor to the
Society magazine I would hope that she would throw it out lock, stock, and barrel. It has no place in a
As a member you are certainly allowed to express your opinion but as the President (or editor)
representing the entire KWVA you must, in fairness to all be strictly impartial. I am forwarding copies of
this letter to other interested parties to reprint it in. its entirety if they wish.
Rock of the Marne! (The Third I D Motto )
Jerome A. Manley/Pres., Society of the 3rd ID, USA
/s/ Jerome A. Manley